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Eric Braeden Talks Victor's "Fraught" Family Ties on The Young and the Restless

Eric Braeden

For better or worse, The Young and the Restless' Victor Newman (Eric Braeden) cares a lot - maybe too much - about his wives and kids. Braeden looked back on Victor's challenging familial dynamics in a chat with Soap Opera Digest.

Delving into the Black Knight's own family background humanized the character, Braeden mused. He said:

Shortly thereafter, Melody [Thomas Scott] and I, Nikki, did a scene in which I talk about my childhood for the first time; I’d been a mystery until then. And once I did that scene, I knew I would stay because it opened a whole plethora of storylines and it was so touching and so deep-seated and I identified with a lot of it because I’d lost my father very young, had seen too many people after the war who had become orphans, etc., so it touched a nerve in me. And again, I’m still drawing from that well. Victor has never trusted anyone, really, because of it. He wants to love, wants to be loved, but in the end, he doesn’t trust. He learned early on to defend himself, as I did in my life…. You become your own father — much too early, by the way.

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Recently, Victor's tenuous bond with younger son Adam (Mark Grossman) was highlighted in a standalone episode. Braeden shared: 

Obviously, it’s a very fraught relationship, but it creates interesting conflict, interesting drama. Almost all the actors who have played the role have been damn good. That includes Michael Muhney, who is very good. Mark Grossman, when he came onto the show, they burdened him with so much damn dialogue that I read the script and I said, 'How the hell can they do that to someone who comes on new to the show'  And he did a fantastic job, fantastic job. He handled it, every day, like an absolute pro, which [he is]. He is very good. He has an edge to him. Again, very lucky to have him. [That episode] is one of those things you need to see when it’s completed to appreciate it.